tv History of Iowa Caucuses Part 2 CSPAN January 31, 2016 12:08pm-1:44pm EST
>> next, on american history tv reporters give their perspective on the iowa caucuses by talking about their experiences covering the event. one of the reporters covered nine presidential caucus campaigns for the "des moines register" newspaper. the herbert hoover presidential library hosted this 90 minute program. in our firstn: panel, we were looking at the iowa caucuses from the inside out. thatwe have some panelists will tell us about looking from the outside in. joining us today are three panelists. epsen, k henderson,
and david price. we will start with david yepsen. previously, he had a 34 year "the morethe des and register." moines register." he has also done graduate work in mass communications at iowa state and earned a masters degree from drake university. was a fellow for the harvard political school. theed a study group on
nation's presidential selection processes. he has also appeared on a number therograms commenting on iowa caucuses. during his career, he helped cover nine presidential campaigns in iowa. please welcome david. [applause] mr. yepsen: thank you. a lot i'm thinking about. first of all, i want to thank the hoover library and the other policy institute for organizing this session. i have long thought that iowa was a little behind the curve in chronicling the history of this event. i spent some time in new hampshire, and of course their primary process has been around longer than the iowa caucuses, but they have been much more diligent about writing and
recording the history of new hampshire primary that we have about our caucus. it is great to see this and great to see what the iowa department of cultural affairs is doing and what the harkin institute is doing trying to gather this information. of these early war stories will evaporate. we don't talk about them and hear the stories now. of course, you can start to learn more about what really happened. i had a great mentor -- we were talking a lot about covering politics. i would always ask him, what did you think happened there? he would always say, we will find out in about 10 years. [laughter] jim wasen: i think right. i want to thank everyone who is theng it a point to record
iowa caucus. we're fighting but the american presidency. it is all great fun for people in iowa, and some of us have had wonderful experiences and career opportunities, but this has been serious business 1972. you think asked, do this will be the last year? i have been asked that every year for the last four years since i started covering them. the first cycle i did was the 1976 cycle. the answer is there is no guarantee. sometimes it may be over, but there are a few things that will keep it going. one is inertia. who has a better idea? you move it to montana? that will have a disproportionate influence. typical.typical -- a the inability to agree on an alternative tends to keep this process going.
secondly, the winner of the process likes it, and invariably, the sitting president of the united states has a lot to say about what his or her party does in the nomination process when he or she is seeking a second turn. sittingare that president has been someone who has come through iowa. you think they want to change the rules of the game of the game they just won? no. lot.carter was out here a to theks invited iowans white house. what a guy named ted kennedy decided he could do a better job he said, let's go to iowa. you set a check for him -- a trap for him.
i think bill clinton, even though he was not necessarily a product of that -- certainly, president obama has done that. there is a lack of consensus. i think iowans have to listen to the critics. that is one of encouraging things about this process. you coverthis thing -- it one year, when you're in a half ahead of the election, you cover the campaign. then, you cover the process. who gave us this turkey? iowa did that. losers the reason every lost.
it is a throwaway for him to say, let's rethink about the process. i think it will stay because of the inertia, because there will be an incumbent, and there will be losers in the cycle who run again. john edwards is a good example. you think he wanted to change the rules of the game four years later? candidates on the republican side and democratic side, one party will win, one party will lose. the candidates in the losing party who spent time in iowa, they have an infrastructure in place. they don't want to change the rules of the game. they have something in the back. that was helpful to mitt romney when he decided to run. he already had an investment here. i think that keeps the process
going in iowa. owans important that i listen to the critics. it is like a business -- constant improvement. yet, there was a big brouhaha about the republican count. we have a sensitivity about getting elections correct after the 2000 fiasco. it will be important to get that count right. fast and accurate. they invented some new system. they will have microsoft do it, and all that. that's great. let's make sure someone understands how it works, and there are some checks and balances so there is not some computer nerd tinkering around with the results that no one knows about. as long as we are doing those things, then this quality
improvement will help assure that iowa keeps its place. i think it would be a mistake for iowa to give up because, as richard, and others mentioned, this has had an impact on our politics here. imagine this. we will have a quarter million people in two parties that will go out on caucus night. what impact of civil engagement. citizens onudents, issues. whenever i see the caucus happen, i get a little chill. it is democracy at work. foreign journalists who have watched this process -- it is powerful to watch grassroots americans have a say about who the president of the united states ought to be. this has the benefit in iowa. not only does it increase the
civil education and literacy of the citizens, it also contributes to the debate on issues in the state legislator. bruce is out here, campaigning, talking about environmental issues, and guess what, others are stealing the ideas and introducing them to those in the legislator. it creates issues. the other thing it does is it creates a healthy two-party system. i think this grew the modern day democratic party. senator harkin was on me that one of the reasons he won in 1984 was because he had a better organization. republicans had reagan.
he had a better organization to put on the street. that has had an effect, and has built a healthy two-party system. i can tell you, you are better off with a healthy two-party system than a corrupt, bankrupt system that gets sort of ingrown because it is so lopsided. we do not have a monopoly on could government. i don't like iowans who say, we pay attention to good issues, and all that. i think this is worth a saying, this is our process, if someone , but to change it, fine until they do, we will not be chumps and give it up to some other state. if you love money in politics, you will love a regional primary. a national presence of primary -- you might as well turn it
over to the super pac's. just in general, one of the points i wanted to make is how i've seen it change our own political culture, and really educationassive civic effort that has really benefited a lot of people. there are a lot of people in both parties that started out working in the caucuses. i met someone outside joe it wass headquarters -- the first place he started playing on a big states. there are lots of people like that. people really got their start by showing up at their county caucus and saying, this is a way to make change. with that, i will turn that to my colleague. mr. convington: thank you,
david. our second speaker is kay henderson. covering politics was apparently her destiny since day one. she was born on election day. [laughter] mr. convington: i will let her tell you which one. [laughter] mr. convington: or not. mr. price: 1980. mr. convington: kay served as a steakhouse correspondent. she did a three month summertime tour of duty as a managing editor of the weekly editor in her hometown. in 1987, she became one of the founding members of radio iowa. in 1994, she became the network news director. she is a feature reporter and commentator on "iowa press." please welcome kay henderson. [applause] ms. henderson: it was the day of
the johnson landslide. if any of you are historians and math leads, you now know how old i am. the very first caucus i ever covered, i was four days old. my parents brought me home from the hospital. i did not have a name. my dad made ballots. my family sat at the dining room table, and they had a caucus to determine my name. henderson -- ay i'm ok. they did not have a statewide caucus vote. it happens to be that in my hometown, lenox, iowa, there was caucus on main street -- typical of the kind of venues in which these
caucuses are held -- i was, at the time, and elementary school student. the thing that sticks in my mind is i'm fairly sure that they collected the straw poll ballots in the methodist church collection plate. my dad is what political scientists call an opinion leader in my hometown. as a child, it did not occur to me as unusual that there would be a person who would introduce political candidates in your hometown and county. i think i have a greater appreciation than most about the value that all of these campaigns see in
identifying opinion leaders at the grassroots leader who will talk up the candidates. i cannot tell you how many times, as a kid, i experienced somebody coming up to my dad not saying, who are you voting for, but asking this question of my father, who should i vote for? having him tell them who they should vote for is an incredible experience. that is what happened all across the state of iowa. as was mentioned, i started political reporting, particularly the presidential political reporting that i've done for two decades now, in 1987. it was a year similar to this one. there were a lot of candidates. you remember how many candidates? weren't there eight on one side and eight on the other -- there were 16 candidates.
the idea that we have an field thisry size of time around is a little bit easier for me to deal with because 1987 was my very first experience. i also collected the very best ofitical soundbite ever jesse jackson that year, when he of asked, in the lobby hotel in des moines -- a gathering place for democrats -- he was asked by a reporter what he planned to do at the state fair. he said, i'm going to the state fair for the showing of the hog, and i'm going to eat some oisage so fresh, it will , still alive. whatever howard dean said on mind, thatt, in my
soundbite is the scream heard around the world. when tom was inviting me to talk with you folks, he suggested that our candidate might best focus on the candidates we have seen come through the state, rather than the political operatives. you certainly heard from some of our best at the previous panel. . came up with a bunch of lists the new thing in journalism is the top five things you need to or thebout the dinner -- seven best reasons the republicans are going to -- what was that thing they did last weekend? list number one. most influential candidates and caucus history. on the democratic side, of course there is legitimate debate about whether it is george mcgovern or jimmy carter.
let me talk about what has happened during my professional career. on the democratic side, i think we might all agree that barack obama sort of remade the game, in terms of caucus turnout. in rochester, it is not yet seen, but tried to grow the democratic party. he was seen doing that at the national level. we don't yet know if he has done that specifically in iowa, to bring in the different kinds of coalitions he was able to bring fold into thousand eight and 2012. on the republican side, this might surprise you, but i am to robertson. be pat these folks can disagree with me, but i will give you my saying that.
you heard on the previous panel that they used to be debates about abortion. there used to be debates within the republican party on abortion. when i started covering debates, there were venerable women who were pro-choice women. the likes of dorothy carpenter, serving in the state legislator. i'm glad you are sitting down. chose asterry branstad a running mate, someone who was pro-choice. he kept her on the ticket in 1994. fast forward to this time around . the seachange that has happened in the republican party can be traced back to pat robertson and the folks that he brought into the republican party as activists in that campaign.
it also goes to what is happening at the national level in the past few elections. there are a lot of issues on which republicans and democrats agree, or there is not a lot of difference between the two parties. i think about trade issues. certainly there is a lot of debate among democrats on trade. unanimity in regards to trade policy. amongis total unanimity most immigrants on the abortion issue. there is almost total unanimity among republicans on the abortion issue. that is why, come general election time, that is one of the debates that will happen in 2016. that is something that both parties can agree upon. list -- if i can see my notes. i came the other lists up with.
right now, we are hearing a lot about -- it is a generally generational choice, in regards to ted cruz, marco rubio, and on the democratic side, an argument that martin o'malley has been making frequently. if you think back to some of the previous campaigns we have had an iowa, there was a argumentnal choice when bob dole was seeking the nomination. that benefited lamar alexander because he became the freshfaced alternative. the candidate that reporters no longer like to talk about because they spent so much time john edwards.is he made a generational choice argument in 2004 that greatly benefited him. of course, the candidate among
the campaigns i have covered -- this is campaign number eight -- that made the generational on was argument, and w barack obama with the "turn the page" rhetoric. theserse, we have all of candidates who attack their experience -- from george w. bush to bob dole, mitt romney. we also have candidates who consider it is their turn to be the nominee. they have to fight against that. mccain. dole, gore, i have candidates who have had a unique policy influence on the caucuses. , will begin with pat buchanan who i already explained. steve forbes brought up a really
unusual proposal in the fight tax.- flat he talked about it almost exclusively as the single issue on which his candidatcy was based. howon't remember tremendously radical of an idea that was at the time because so many republicans have embraced it. that has had a lasting effect in the policy debate among people and his parties. steve forbes aside, he has the record of having the most chutzpah of the candidates i have covered. as i was watching on the television set in my office, clintonjef jefferson took the oath of office for his second term -- steve forbes
called me and announced he would run again. that is how long the campaign lasts for those of us who cover it. suggest i would also there are candidates that we can look to in the course of our career covering the caucuses as groundy label pavers. i would go back to the heresy of bill bradley to say that there would not have been the success of a barack obama, heather not been the experience of a bill bradley can see in iowa, a howard dean candidacy, or successful barack obama can see. obama employed a lot of the social media aspects of the campaign. dean, even though he was not
presenting himself as a generational choice, did appeal a youngervirgin -- generation of voters who do not usually participate in the caucuses. as did if you were to cover a candidate like bill bradley in any college town in iowa, he certainly had a generational appeal that was very potent. then, finally, the ground pavers -- eric mentioned of particular family, for which he has worked. the bush family. w in iowa.he way for the bush family had experience here. they knew what it took to win the caucus and to lose the caucus. they were all in in 2000. i will skip any analysis of the campaign because it is a
work in process. in the suggest that future we keep our eye out for .he george p bush the bush family is not going away. that may be another ground paver list to watch in the future. i will turn it back over to the moderator. mr. convington: our third panelist is save price. dave is a belleville, illinois native and earned his undergraduate degree at southern illinois university, his masters degree at university of illinois . work has earned him a national emmy and edward r. murrow award.
dave also recently released his ," hisbook, "caucus chaos insider's account of the unique iowa caucuses. we look forward to hearing about that. please welcome dave price. [applause] mr. price: i have to mention that kay is in the book, and dave wrote the forward of the .ook i came to these caucuses a lot differently than they did because, as you just heard, i did not grow. . i grew up in the town of belleville, illinois, just outside of st. louis. was, no idea what a caucus and not care what a caucus was, to be honest, because i would grow up to be the next shortstop of the cardinals. reality has a way of redefining your dreams sometimes, as it
did. my brief experience to any that was just a small taste, following politics for my dad. my dad, in a lot of ways, got me hooked on this unknowingly. my dad was a lifelong democrat. we were a very blue-collar family. plant until the factory collapsed -- he switched a reaganbecame o follower, and republican for the rest of his life. deepver had a lie conversations about politics, but the one thing, at the time, that i think has helped so much is having a man be a follower of both of those parties helps me objective, ande
a natural curiosity about all the visitors we had in our state. asike kay, i was not brought an infant to a caucus. my first experience was when i was a student at the wrist he of -- at the university of missouri. was john ask ashcroft traveling, i went to cover him at a rally. i remember interviewing him at a town square with one of those ,utdoor buildings -- a gazebo yes, thank you. i think he was talking about the national debt at the time. that was my early taste of iowa. i moved here in 2001. jeannies my first -- remembers 2004 well. that is how i got to meet
jeannie. i had no idea what i was doing, which i tried to not prove every night on the news. it was a fascinating experience to see, ok, this is what the and youucus is about, get a sense of how seriously people take it, like dave was talking about. having heard about how all these owans reallys care about these candidates. there is something really to that. you get to feel that passion. i am very much a people watcher. how people ing the audience react to these presidential candidates, which is what, for me, makes covering these every four years so fascinating to watch who has the ability to connect with
people, and who doesn't. am, i learnede i looking back at the cycle -- i covered 2004, 2000 8, 2012, 2016. in 2004, i chose to cover howard dean. i was there for the infamous scream. a really did not sound that way in person. it looked a lot worse on tv, and he did not look like he was crazy and screaming at all of us. he was just a little fired up. in 2008, i was with hillary clinton. you may be noticing a theme so far. wereen, campaigns realizing they did not want me to choose to cover them on caucus night. cake is inn the 2012, i thought i figured out process.s
i said, all right, i'm going to try something different. we only had an active republican caucus in 2012. , and theythe complex were going to do it differently. it was a made-for-tv moment, where they would do it differently, little by little. clearly, there was a lot going on that night as well. 2012 did not work out as the republicans would have hoped. my first three experiences have been unique in every sense. for 2016, i'm not sure where i will be, and i'm sure the campaigns would prefer i don't go there. new hampshire -- that may be a good one.
for me, personally -- with no disrespect for jeannie's campaign -- 2008 is the gold standard of what i covered, just in the way that barack obama was to the in getting people caucus. i cannot believe how many people he turned out. .t was a really nice day too clearly, he was very gifted in al skills.i the way they fired up the young people, the way they got so many young people committed to the process. sometimes i think john edwards and hillary clinton don't to the credit they deserve because clearly they were very
exceptional and turning out people as well. while, admittedly covering clinton on caucus night felt like a funeral at the time -- it was so quite in there, and you could take the disappointment in the air -- those three campaigns were especially good at turning out people. i think that one, when i think back, is the one that sticks out to me. no one was able to capture that sort of enthusiasm and energy. thesure we will get into 2016 cycle, but on the democratic side, it is what i see playing out. jeannie,inting back to but when you are talking about the challenges of howard dean at
the time, people believing in their hearts, you just had to get their head. it seems to me that that is what we are seeing with bernie sanders. his folks, and some of those going after, they are believing that he is saying the right things, but now you have to take the big step -- ok, can this guy be president. obviously, clinton had the debate performance, joe biden will not run. on the republican side, that is a book in itself with so many candidates. as kay talked a little bit about the outsider-insider storyline -- donald trump and ben carson, clearly the outsiders in this race. just the way they are running now is fascinating to me.
we know the guy running trumps santorum'sn rick campaign. rick santorum could barely afford to put the gas in the car, as they drove across the state. affordtty sure trump can a gallon of gas. their whole strategy is let's embrace celebrity. they do. it is a whole different experience, at least than what i ever covered. clearly hillary clinton is a celebrity in her own right. ben carson, i think right now is not even campaigning. he is on a book tour. it is a totally different dynamic. mentioned jeb bush. if you polled people six months
ago, most people would say he would be the nominee. he has struggled to find a .ooting here jeb bush has used the word, "disruptor." i admit, i did not know it was a real word. i googled it. it turns out it is a real word. he is trying to say, i'm an too, and i'm a disruptor. that is the trump factor. i feel like every one of these campaigns has some sort of different element. clearly, you have this outsider thing going on. maybe even with the democrats -- bernie sanders as an outsider,
even though he has been in public service for decades. it can last through the 2016 cycle. or, if this peters out, and these folks will have their moment -- in 2012, they had their moment and collapse. if we're going to see that with these carson, and some of more traditional candidates will rise and take over. mr. convington: thank you. like the first panel, i want to first give an opportunity to the panelists to share with each other thoughts or comments they might have. they have been talking together throughout the years. anything one of you said that prompted curiosity on the part of another? i would like to hear irs, or yours, professor.
mr. convington: that's fine. we will take a few minutes and set up another table so are panelists and tim kraft can join us. . mice will be at least one for the audience. in the meantime, if you would hold on to your seats because peter, a professor at the mercy of iowa, would like to tell you about the larger project that this is a piece of. [applause] >> thank you. first, i want to thank the hoover library and foundation for supporting and collaborating with us on this. there are many people who have been involved in the planning for this here. this is an interdisciplinary
effort to bring this political discourse together. as i have been thinking about this, it also reminds me of a when i first got to the risk of iowa, my first caucus was in 1980, in the basement of a dorm. i went for anderson. in 19 four, gary hart was going around with these position papers on energy policy. i still have a bunch of those. that was the first time i met .avid yepsen i don't know if david even remembers, but we were traveling around the state doing visits. david was covering them. he wanted to be in the car with gary hart. i drove his car in the winter. i remember putting the cardboard in front of the radiator. iner, i did an internship
center harkin -- senator harkin's office. it is not a partisan thing. it is try to look at the details of the different issues, primarily through research, but through these community .ngagement kind of activities these kinds of events to us are extremely important to be able to bring people together. that comes to the december 4 event that tom mentioned earlier on political discourse. we will have three different panels. one talking about the impact of the media. one, campaign finance. fromve invited people toitage-cato side of things people who think citizens united .s the worst thing possible
again, i want to thank the hoover library and foundation for support, and for all the people who have come here to speak, but mostly to all of you for caring about the issues, learning through history. [applause] ok.convington: if our other panelists would join us, please. [applause] we have agton: microphone, i know on your left. is there one on the right as well? i can't tell. it does not appear to be. raise your hand. theill have tom passed mic. i will get my question in now. , i lookial scientist
for patterns in behavior. one thing i noticed was the people involved in campaigns were very sensitive to the idea of media expectations and setting the bar, whether you meet, or failed to meet expectations. i felt the media panel avoided the question of setting expectations, and being the judge of whether candidates meet them or not. i'm wondering if the media participants would speak to their awareness of their role as setting expectations, of saying who the winners really are, regardless of what we, in iowa, say. ?hat do you think of your role is it something you embrace, you take seriously? no.yepsen:
that is the secret of the lodge. [laughter] mr. yepsen: we are not allowed to share that. said he exited tatian's is a ritual. typically it occurs overbake expensive dinners, an adult kraft.e, people like tim eventually a consensus emerges on who is doing well, who is doing poorly. on a more serious note, i think tatian's have been part of the caucus since 1972. george mcgovern came in here and beat expectations. i think that word was even used in the piece. whose expectation, and who sets it -- that is a role that media sets. there is some truth, and the political community, there is a
sense of how you will do. it is important for candidates to convince the media that they are doing well, and spent us to a chance,at they have while, at the same time, not raising verification so high that they cannot meet them. the goal is to surprise the media on caucus night. two quickember -- stories. i can remember sensing the john kerry was moving up in 2004. i told some of his people that, we have some polling that shows you are right that we are moving. it turned out, of course, he won. this was seen as a loss for howard dean. dean some howard
months later. he said, if you would have told me that i was going to finish in third place, i would have thought you were crazy. i finished in third place, and it is considered a loss. that is an example of how the expectation works. there is another part of it that i think is interesting. everybody always talks about how there are three tickets out of iowa. there are actually only two stories. beat expectations, and who lost. harkening back to 2004, a remarkable speech by john edwards finishing second. howard dean finished in third. he dropped. john kerry, a surprise winner. that is the interesting thing about the national media and the expectations set. it is hard to tell more than two
stories about the outcome of any particular caucus. do you want to add onto that? add -- if: just to you were in iowa, you cannot believe that john kerry could could lose.ard dean we felt that. it goes to the expectations. journalists,ust but opinion leaders and campaign staff. there was no reckoning that dean would lose. ms. henderson: i will jump back in here. there was an interesting moment in 2007, in early december, i was having an imo conversation with folks -- an e-mail conversation with folks in national media. mindd not crossed their
that clinton could finish third. this was after the opera weekend. rah weekend. they had a hard time wrapping their mind around the fact that the clinton machine could falter. ms. murray: when you discussed the turnout, and when dave mentioned that edwards and clinton both had high turnouts. they both turned out more people than all the candidates turned out in 2004. part of the challenge when running these campaigns is figuring out what the turnout will be. the bradley folks try to get a lot of new people to go. we tried it. it, toma campaign did their credit, they did it. kraft: carter had 1%
national name recognition. a very good campaigner. he had to mend us university support. we did not have much of a threshold to cross. ,e knew how well we were doing in terms of people around the state who were helping us. the only thing that scared me meetingrticularly good in burlington. we were driving back to des moines, late at night. this was early september. he said, i do not intend to finish second here. i said, say what? hamilton told me that we have to make a turf agree strong showing. he was determined, by september, to win it.
low expectations, big surprise. in 1980, we got a huge softball from the center of massachusetts, who having failed miserably -- or doing poorly in the straw poll in florida, as dave pointed out, bitterly pointed to iowa -- literally pointed to iowa, and said, that is where we will be. i had a feeling for our strength in iowa. of course, the kennedys. when they came at you, you had to screw on your hat, and hunkered down. they will throw the ol hold vote -- whole boat at you. mr. convington: do we have questions from the audience? >> i grew up in iowa city. i was used to iowa politics all of my life.
i did not really think about the fact that there might be elserent politics anyplace until i started to teach in belleville,when i started teachi got a rude awakening. i mean to tell you. in thedo not participate same way down there as they do appear. trying to convince them that this might be a very good idea didn't go over very well. [laughter] i think eventually i want over a have reminded you us today that part of the reason that people start in iowa is because the people here participate. there there was no expectation of participation because there was no payoff for that participation. it just wasn't possible for you any kind of say.
here your say matters. thank you. >> we have a question in front. >> i'm jeanne lloyd jones, from iowa city. you have talked about how the caucuses can be helpful to people who are not well known and don't have a lot of money. or at least they could at one time. group thatd with a is trying to get more women elected to public office. so, i would like to hear your comments on whether you think the caucus process is more helpful or not helpful at all two women who are running for higher office. the think that one of things that crosses my mind -- i worked for governor branstad. he said that what -- what gets measured gets done.
if that's one of the things we start to measure the caucuses on , that gets done. if we say that we are making a conscious effort to encourage women to be more involved in our campaign, more involved in the caucuses, i think that there is a pretty good balance. i think that taking it that next step, on the republican side it seems we have this reluctance -- i will go to my caucus. i don't necessarily want to go to the county convention because they will expect me to go to the state convention, but i think look at thetart to caucus process as jeannie said, we do use it as an opportunity to build organization. , the ont the next step precinct person to candidate, if we measure that and talk about that, i think that that gets done. >> i think that there are two things.
caucuses as far as the presidential candidates go, it's relatively neutral to the men and women to the extent that it's beneficial to those with less money resources. another thing i would say, though, on the democratic side, the requirement is that you have an equal number of men and women as delegates. shove --a pressure to to the extent that you go through the party process and its useful at a lower levels, like becoming a state representative or lower-level caucusesffice, the push women to be equally equal in the process. at the 1970you that
convention, before those rules took effect, there was one county in iowa where all the delegates at the state and all ofwere men the alternates were women related to those men. not necessarily the wives. there were, i believe, a couple of daughters. they weren't rigid about it. by creating a situation where you had to elect people going up, you created a it was a helpful shove at the lower level of the process. i think that that is useful in the long term. although it's not that dramatic. >> just -- from my observation -- i have to make one note. one of my favorite political
experiences ever was 2008 at the caucuses, watching my mom stand for chair and give a speech hillary clinton. there are a lot of women at that level. by the way, phone calling, doorknocking, all the years i was in politics she never did any of that. my experience as a staffer, one of the things that i really noticed when i started working in democratic politics is that a people -- the people doing a lot of the work were women. jenny caffrey was the queen of absentee ballots. pat gilroy taught me so much about how to organize a party and create a democratic party along with you as well, senator. are the those people women who are out there doing a lot of the jobs and what i would like to say is that you cannot win if you don't run. i'm glad you are doing that because women cannot get elected
if we don't run, so we need to support more women and that's how we do it, either through the caucus process or any other little deed of -- little d process. >> one of the truly gratifying -- and perhaps not that unusual, but it is in some respects, coming in as an outsider you hone in on a couple and you will find that the wife supports one candidate very strongly and her husband another. i have seen this across the state, time and again. you know, politics, civil, does notor grassroots break up marriages in iowa. and i thought many examples of it -- i saw so many samples of it. let's hope that it stays that way.
you do have another question? -- >> do we have another question? x as you know, the presidential nominating process intentionally started up in smaller states to provide access for people who are less well-known and then open it up not only to incumbents, so i would like to get your opinion on the effect of the networks, the news system usingsing a national polls to vet candidates. that seems to fly in the face of a very important part of our process. do you think that this is done out of ignorance and naivete?
is this a various plot to give more sway to the billionaire donor class and increase advertising revenues? what do you think about it? >> i'm for a republican solution to this. if someone wants to have a , tell everyone that you are having a debate and the people who want to show up, they can. organizing debates is not cheap or easy, but particularly in a peeled this big to try to do this two-tiered thing and using polls, it's chock full of so many problems. it creates a situation where so many people are so resentful of the media telling him it's going to happen and who's ahead. people, particularly caucus goers, really resent that. that, i'm not sure how i would concoct a better system in a field like this.
remember, tom. the purpose of the process isn't civic engagement. to 270pose is getting electoral votes. to win the white house. that's the goal of each party. yes, it frustrates some. chair, her job is to win the election. to the extent that these debates ,amage nominees, chew them up forced them to spend time -- i mean, it only takes one gaffe by to inflict a mortal wound on themselves. ask rick perry. a party would simply not want to expose their
candidate to the risks involved in a big debate. >> [inaudible] voters passed their ballots? i will polls, new hampshire before them. it flies in the face. [indiscernible] couldt's an option, you do that. >> i think it is abdication of the parties responsibility, frankly. it's easier to turn it over to the media and let them kind of set the criteria rather than the party doing that. i think it gets back to richie was making the point, anytime that you are changing rules, any time you are sitting rules, someone is thinking that you are doing this to create the advantage for that other campaign.
i think it was an easy way for our party to at least say -- ok, we don't have to make that decision, someone else will. my thought, fair as anything else, to put 17 names and a hat, draw out eight of them. to david's point, it's very, very difficult in a field that large to try to do something that is fair to everybody. >> the microphones are back here. >> my name is jonathan. i had a question about the delegate process, from the caucus results to the county and district conventions. earlier you were talking about how each party is a little bit different in how they elect their delegates to those different conventions. how each party
differs? i know it's a really confusing process. maybe i don't even want to get into it. , ifess my other question is you are a candidate are you more interested in winning iowa's delegates? you more interested in winning on caucus night? >> winning on caucus night's? >> and why? >> it doesn't matter to the delegates are. winning iowa means media. it means money. potential momentum. the handful of delegates that come out of the state are really irrelevant by the time you get to the convention. >> first of all, let me just say that i'm hopeful to see a nice republican convention that might show a couple of ballots and show people how the system works. we haven't seen it for a while. that's more of a joke.
on the first part of your question, on the republican side it's pretty simple. what you see in the presidential percentages on election night, that is a separate basically straw vote. it has no relationship to the process that happens thereafter as i understand it. it's a simple majority vote. you go up to the county convention, majority vote and up the ladder. side, whatcratic happens is you have people form -- formed by candidate. those that have less than 15% of the total number, their group
gets to reform, they count them up and they each get their fair share, mathematically, of the delegates allocated to that precinct. they become the delegates to the county convention. exactly the same process is used on the district convention and state convention delegates. they are the same people. that's basically the system. i don't know if that's understandable. hopefully. >> [inaudible] you said why the caucuses are so and how they happen. >> usually. >> could i ask the question? what is this proportional representation that republicans are doing? thehey are saying that if
first candidate gets 30% of the delegates, the rest need to go on to the county convention. typically when i have been , wenizing on caucus night will have people that say they don't want to go on to the county convention. that's whatever, basketball day or whatever. we just say -- go to the caucus. to dave's point, all we care about is that caucus night headline and things will sort themselves out. if your candidate winds up being the nominee there will be enough delegates at the state convention that supported your candidate. to be someoing people on the central committee to are going to get chosen. it really starts to narrow down to the delegates in the national convention are in the first place. elected officials, top party officials, someone who has been with the candidate for a long, long time, but dave summed it up
really well. hereto for it's just -- get to the caucus, we don't really care what goes on after that. this cycle will be a bit different because we are going to have to say -- ok, go on to the county convention. or somebody there at that caucus needs to go on so that we have that proportional representation. >> one thing i would like to quickly add -- one reason the democrats do the system that richard invented. [laughter] and is arguably the only person in the world and understands it -- [laughter] and new hampshire were in a real battle with each other over who was going to go first. they were starting to play leapfrog games with each other. the two chairmen started to talk. they cut a deal. the deal was that iowa gets the first primary.
i'm sorry, the first caucus. new hampshire gets the first primary. they work together to preserve each other status. as a condition of that, new hampshire democrats said -- you cannot count bodies in iowa. you have to count your delegate equivalents. if you count bodies it will look too much like a primary. so, nagel agreed. tawny campbell defended it. that was -- we will constantly have this thing of delegate equivalency. and we will not tell you reporters what the initial counts were of the people as they walk in the room. because they take account. or perhaps they broke in to the preference groups. i think that that is one of the -- reasons that the system lasts. for some reason it didn't cause
republicans heartburn to have them doing the body count. but it did with the democrats. deal they put together and that's why iowa democrats, they like this process, but they have to be very careful of not offending new hampshire. >> there is an interesting structure between iowa and new hampshire. there was that battle, but it wasn't really a battle between iowa and new hampshire. what happened was that there was unfortunate, lawbreaking states that wanted to violate the national rules and get ahead of us, creating this back and forth. there has been a long coalition between iowa and new hampshire. i will tell you, i have been at dinners where you have had people like tom harkin and governor shaheen, now senator, and on the other side carl levin
who represents the state of michigan in the senate who had these really weird ideas that the people of michigan should, somehow, incredibly strange -- that michigan should come first. you know, there's a unity of iowa and new hampshire in there where herms a block would be happy to have south carolina and nevada join third and fourth to create more states aggregating and pushing for the maintenance of the system that we happen to think is a very reasonable one. caused bythat battle this inappropriate thinking of jumping ahead by various states. historically the two states have fun together, but that did potentiate that.
out, in a moret formal way, the vision between the way that iowa does it in the way the capture does it. that strange thing called a primary. we had another question down here in front. dave, you are the youngest panel member and we don't have great proportionality. [laughter] [inaudible] caucus --u see the i'm fully supportive -- what do you see that relationship to the media? maybe you can speak to that. is that going to play quite a roll here on what they talk about with inside outside, twitter feeds after the republican primaries? this inside outside that she refers to, how difficult is that
for younger voters? difficult question i think. will we have a harder time predicting that? >> whether the younger people are engaged as well this time? yes. yes, we will. i mean, how do you turn these people? you could make an argument that there are several different campaigns trying to do it this time. clinton's campaign, at least i would say just observationally going there, just looking at the crowds of clinton versus sanders -- and noted -- no disrespect to martin o'malley but he has a way to go here. seems like a lot of times the clinton crowd is a bit older. clearly they are a lot more focused this time and more targeting women than i remember in 2008.
to the bernie sanders rallies and it reminds me of the ron paul rallies, in the sense that there are a lot of younger people in the room. whether you can keep them engaged enough to show up caucus night is another matter. if you are looking at february 1, the college kids are actually on campus, not at home with mom and dad. we did a rally with rand paul in des moines and they kicked off this -- his goal is to get 10,000 iowa college students to commit to caucus. which seems like quite a lofty goal. since i think a lot of the people that you talk to -- i'm sure that eric probably a lot of these numbers about what he thought scott walker needed to turn out on caucus night. would people be surprised if they got more than the mid to high 20's, if the race really changes? maybe getting 10,000 in just
college students would seem to be incredibly impressive and probably very surprising, considering where he is in the polls right now and whether he ifl even last long enough or you will just focus on running for reelection in kentucky. but social media, it seems to be a whole different animal here. maybe that makes this hard to track, but i think that kay mentioned, in some of the things she was talking about, how clinton has clearly learned from 2007 and 2008. they have -- the way that they are using video and social media to try to connect with the younger crowd, it may be that that inherent enthusiasm level is not there, perhaps, but they seem to really be targeting and working hard on connecting with those millennial's and whatever the generation is after millennial's.
in ways that they hope obviously would payoff in february. obviously it's a fickle group. can you get the younger ones to actually show up? it seems to me that the clinton campaign is very, very much reaching out and trying to build that enthusiasm in a technological way, that may be their candidate is not automatically doing on their own. that --ld just add to obama'serson was barack iowa campaign manager in 2012. he really emphasize the fact that you can reach a potential by twitter, facebook, snap chat, but within let's say 24 hours after that potential voter has been to an event, they need to talk to a person who is either a volunteer or someone from the campaign to seal the
deal. it is what jeannie and eric were talking about earlier. it is person-to-person contact. the clinton campaign, i think pretty sophisticatedly, is trying to create these peer-to-peer networks among people who are more prone to talk, if you will, on twitter? or more prone to talking with text or facebook? but there is still that element where you do have to have a real live conversation with a real live person. i would just point to the aforementioned brad anderson, a statewide candidate for secretary of state in 2014. he has had recent experience in doing this and he actually got more statewide votes than bruce braley. he was able to employ it in a statewide race in an off presidential year. i think the clinton campaign is trying to plan that.
>> that's a very good point about the follow-up. you have got to do that follow-up. you know, we have always had this problem getting young people to connect. i'm sure that at one point someone said -- well, old people won't answer the telephone, how do we get young people involved? well, give them a phone call? now we are talking about twitter, instagram and all of this. governor walker was very big on twitter. i knew what he had for lunch. i knew what he had for dinner because he took a picture of the hamburger he just had. so, it's a generational thing. it's a new way of communicating, trying to teach the old dog new tricks. yes this communication staff -- do you have a twitter account? had one since 2008 and he had sent out 17
tweets in those seven years. they were like -- ok, get with the program, get going. more to the point we had a 23-year-old campaign manager. campaigns typically have a lot of young people and they do communicate that way. as i said, governor walker was very big on communicating with twitter, but our campaign manager had two big computer screens and the tweets were always coming up here and there, so and so saying this or that. it is just one of these things. during the 2000 bush campaign, we were starting to use the internet, gosh. we were using e-mail, contacting voters in their e-mail. so, you know. it's just time marching on and i think we are going to see more young people involved because they do could -- they do tend to communicate that way. totally agree with both of
those things and i don't have any analytic to back this up, but observationally that millennial generation, the typecast and all, clearly they in wayswith technology that other generations did not, obviously. the idea of needing to connect with them right away. like brad said, after they go to a rally, that kind of thing. but just watching that generation -- some of them have been colleagues that i've noticed -- they do connect in a different way. they are not -- their heads are always buried in these, but not in the ways that we use them when you first got cell phones because we only use them for this. when you look at that generation they are doing this a lot, they are doing this. they just communicate in a far different way and i'm curious as to what. to learn during this cycle how the campaigns are managing to do
those follow-ups? it would seem that you could also have the wrong affect here and put some of these folks away if you are bombarding them with just a random person on the telephone. it's just not how they communicate anymore. >> [inaudible] .ngaging people down the street >> i understand your question, but i tend to think that maybe too much is made of "young people." this is the third oldest state in the country. correct me if i'm wrong, but the average age of a caucus goer is older. they trend older. we talk about young people as a marketing thing, because that's
just a way you do it in marketing. we talk about it because obama did it and we are fighting the last war. in terms oferested who is bringing an new group of people, not based on age. there is supposed to be an effort underway to turn out latino voters. they could be very interesting. my other point is, the millennial's, people in different age groups, i think this group of college students that i see in my classroom are much more disengaged from politics than their older brothers and sisters were eight years ago for barack obama. this college group will be a tougher nut to crack, they are turned off by politics. they will go work in a food
bank, but they won't go door-to-door. >> they may have an issue that they are really into as opposed to a person. >> the other thing with that is that these are all just tactics, tools to use. as eric mentioned, the phone was a tool years ago. fundamentally you have to have a campaign strategy and organization that is going to be able to take advantage of the crescendo moments because your campaign will likely have them or you will create them yourself you won't be able to take advantage of it, whether your doing. if you don't have the infrastructure,
they took it vantage of the rotted new and they people, they did the veterans effort that is very creative. these are tools where in your managing campaigns you figure out how the story is trying to turn out and how you going to get there? do we haveon: another question? >> old, young, technology or no, the caucuses -- since we have to vote with our bodies -- are there people who -- and we cannot be secret. everyone knows which room we're going to go to on the democratic side. there is no phoning it in, there is no texting in. i guess i'm asking on the democratic side about a lack of
secrecy. or keeping away different personalities, no matter their age. >> a lack of secrecy is a long-standing point of concern that's raised. certainly in iowa it doesn't seem that the caucus it -- caucus attenders really have any objection to noting their viewing public. nor have i ever in all my years because any retribution of someone for this candidate or that candidate. the kennedy phone banks? the carter phone banks? >> yeah, well. but the point is -- generally --
toerally people don't like have an adverse impact upon them in the community, generally. there really hasn't been objection, mechanically. it would be very, very hard to change the system. i just don't see a possibility for that occurring. there is also the possibility of the fact that -- if you are like sick or away, you can -- you can't show up. there is a very small pilot on the democratic side now about --haps having caucuses electing a very small number of delegates not located at the precinct where you live, but at
like a work location perhaps and we will see if that might be some viable, small help in that regard. so, the system does have its weaknesses. obviously would be really nice if we could figure out some ideas that might mitigate some of that problem without completely eviscerating the system. that on the republican side even though there is the privacy -- every four years we go through an education process. we have a lot of folks that we reach out to who say -- if it's their first time, they don't know what to expect, they are afraid, do they have to stand up in front of people? i think that there is a little bit of discomfort from not
knowing what to expect. again with us, we do have the private balance. i think a lot of times when the folks know that, they are much more comfortable with that and i don't know how that plays out on the democratic side. i would say that every four years we have the process. i think that's the point of folks have made about whether mr. trump prevails on caucus night. these are a lot of folks that traditionally don't go to the caucus, so you have to educate them. i've heard folks say -- you mean i have to go out on this night? where do i go? who do i report to? so, there is an education process. whether there is a huge fear factor in the end, for some it might be another equation, but every few years we go through simply training people how the process works. >> i don't think anyone has actually studied that question,
but you could do a quick mind experiment and recognize that it's potentially a problem for the democrats and not the republicans. if it were a serious problem you would expect more people turning out for republicans than democrats and you don't see that systematic pattern. that would suggest that it's probably not that serious an issue, because republicans show up and they can maintain the confidentiality of their votes and the democrats do it just as well but they don't. so it's probably not a serious problem. tim? eyesthout trying to sermon me anmonize, it occurs to obvious point that i made in my own remarks, that this state in this process to me is one of the last vestiges of democratic grassroots participation and deliberation.
yeah, you can't do it in 15 minutes. it takes three hours. but everything we have talked about in this panel points to a that i think with all my heart is worth fighting for and continuing and i hope it continues. [applause] >> hello, i'm from scott county. i want to say that i love the caucus process. wizard whenatical it comes to the caucuses. sorry for the reporters the don't understand and appreciate it. my question is -- by the way, tim, our house is quite divided right now and my husband is currently sleeping in the doghouse. [laughter] my question would be to the
reporters. what would you suggest doing for us people to educate the people out there that know about the caucus process? is it our responsibility as a party or a community? should we be teaching this in schools? it breaks my heart when i'm knocking on doors and people don't know what the process is. it's really an eye-opening situation. my first time i made it all away to the national convention and i would love to see more young people involved. how would you address that? who do you think should take that responsibility? >> there is a new project underway. it started where the republicans and the democrats got together. my station has been a part of it for the last couple of years. they did it at high school in des moines, where they did some of the things you are talking about, trying to demystify the
crazy process that we see every four years. both parties came in. they walked these high school students through how a caucus works so that they could get over that stuff and now the secretary of state, at the urging of these leaders, has now implemented statewide. counties. >> both parties and 23 counties. >> it shows that there is a core belief in something that unites the parties. you are basically talking about one fourth of the state there so far who got on board with this. the presidential campaigns have sent videos in from the campaigns and the candidates that are in some cases geared towards these students who would be old enough to caucus next them in try to get
right away, using their language and technology and that kind of stuff to really understand how work.ocess is going to i think that some of that is maybe underway. >> do we have any more questions? witchinge reached the hour. for all of our panel their great insights. thank you for coming, safe travels. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016]
bus is in iowa ahead of monday's caucuses to spread the word about c-span. this week we are showing some of our resources on the ground. all hands on deck as we prepare for our coverage of the iowa caucuses. by with'malley stopped simpson college students who tweeted this -- hanging out in the c-span bus while martin o'malley is interviewed. bus.huckabee visited the marco rubio supporters tweeted this -- hello from iowa state university. chatting with marco rubio supporters here, traveling with the c-span bus. >> each week until the 2016 election, road to the white house rewind brings you archival footage of the races. up next, a look at the concession campaign of howard
dean on the night of the aisle caucuses. it's best known for what came to be known as the dean scream. one month earlier he was widely considered to be the front runner for the nomination, but his lead dwindled as the caucuses approached and he finished third, behind john kerry and john edwards. he eventually dropped out of the race a few weeks later. before losing the general election to george w. bush. tom harkin introduces him at this 15 minute event. audience: [chanting "dean"] [applause] >> are you ready? are you ready to take this fight on? are you ready to change america? then you are ready for howard dean, the next president of the united states.